CA Special Education Mild to Moderate Certification and Exam Requirements - Reciprocity Pathway

Note: WGU Special Education students who want to become certified in California must first license in Utah after completing their teacher preparation program. This process requires a USBE background check. They can then apply for a reciprocal California credential after receiving their Utah license.

In California, this program leads to a Level 1 Education Specialist Instruction Credential: Mild/Moderate Disabilities K-12.


The WGU Special Education Mild to Moderate program does not lead to an English Learner Authorization, nor does this program lead to an ASD Authorization Standard 1: Characteristics of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder AASE (Added Authorization-Autism Spectrum Disorder).  Details on what areas and in what settings the Education Specialist credential authorizes you to teach are found in CL-808.


If you wish to add either of these authorizations to your California credentials, you will need to complete the requirements outside of the WGU Special Education Mild to Moderate program.


Required Exams for Licensure
Special Education Content Exam

Special Education Content ExamPraxis 5543 Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications OR  Praxis 5354 Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications

Or, if passed prior to 9/1/10, Praxis 5542.


You must pass one of these exams to graduate from the program and be recommended for certification. The Praxis 5543 is the recommended exam because it also satisfies the WGU Program Requirement.  All students in a Special Education program who matriculated on or after 9/1/2011 must meet the WGU Program Requirement.


Because WGU Special Education Mild to Moderate graduates apply for their California credentials via reciprocity with Utah, they do not need to satisfy California's U.S. Constitution requirement, nor do they need to complete any CSET content exams.


Visit these links for more important information:

General Information About Licensing in Utah and California
Registering for Praxis Exams
Submit your exam scores to WGU and the Utah State Board of Education
Applying for Your California Teaching License

California Teaching Performance Assessment


Version history
Revision #:
5 of 5
Last update:
‎09-26-2018 03:43 PM
Updated by:
Labels (1)